Ealing Friends of the Earth

Lib Dems Rise to EFoE Challenge

Ealing Liberal Democrats are the first local political party to respond to EFoE’s challenge and answer six important questions about the environment in our borough. The replies came from Cllr Gary Malcolm, who acts as the Liberal Democrat Leader of the Ealing Group on the council. We also contacted the local Labour Party, Conservatives, Ealing Independents, Green Party and TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) and are waiting to hear back from them.

Question 1: Would you review Ealing Council’s Climate Strategy on a regular basis? (Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy – Adopted January 2021). In particular, would you provide estimates of the emissions saved so far as a result of the actions in the strategy and a projection of total emissions forward to 2030 (‘Net Zero’ year)?

Lib Dem answer: The Liberal Democrats, as the party that brought the motion relating to the Climate Emergency to Ealing Council which was then passed 100%, believe that the Council should review the Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy. Also, the review should involve external bodies who can give their thoughts and feedback to help the Council do more where this is needed. The details of current and predicted energy savings would be incorporated within the review.

Question 2: Ealing Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan revision seems to have stalled. Would you ensure the revision is completed and adopted by the end of 2022?

Lib Dem answer: Many years ago, I was on the Council committee which scrutinised the initial Action Plan and more recently after I had chased on this, I saw an update from the Council that it has now been released.

(Note: Ealing Council released the Biodiversity Action Plan 2022-2027 after EFoE sent out the original list of questions)

Question 3: Would you require developers to provide an estimate of carbon emissions – direct and ‘embedded’ – for all major planning applications in the borough?

Lib Dem answer: The Lib Dems would make sure that new buildings especially the larger ones provided estimates of carbon emissions from the decanting / demolition through to the building and then for likely activity after a development has been built. This would help the planning committee and members of the public know which future developments might be more harmful or not.

Question 4: Would you place a requirement on developers to provide net zero carbon housing units?

Lib Dem answer: The Liberal Democrats have been active on this and can see that Ealing Council only requires developers to pay £90 for each tonne of a development when the true cost needed to ensure that activity can be funded to ensure a development nets off to make buildings zero carbon is £300. So the Lib Dems have said that within the planning process we would state it was clear that net zero carbon housing units are expected but if they failed to then they needed to pay at least £300 per tonne so the Council can fund initiatives to make buildings net zero.

Question 5: Would you set a target to stabilise and then reduce the amount of motor traffic on Ealing’s roads? What policies would you adopt to achieve this?

Lib Dem answer: The Liberal Democrats have said that we want to reduce the harm motor vehicles cause but note that some vehicles are required for a range of reasons such as people’s jobs who require goods to be moved between locations, carers providing services or those who have a disability. We therefore believe that the Council and TFL need to boost bus and other services such as the hire bikes so that people have an option. Some parts of our borough are not as accessible as others and so we need to spend more to persuade more people to initially walk, cycle, public transport, use car clubs and work from home if possible. These can make a big reduction in the pollution that is caused.

Question 6: Would you establish a plan to address air pollution such that pollution levels across the entire borough are brought within UK legal limits and WHO (World Health Organisation) Guideline Values?

Lib Dem answer: Yes, I think that there are many aspects of the borough’s activity which can create pollution and the Council needs to look more strongly at aspects such as building insulation and retrofitting buildings. My last answer gave some indications that we want to see more people walking and cycling and those that use vehicles use less polluting ones.

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